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Graduate Admissions Information

Graduate Admissions Information

We offer graduate training leading to both a master's in science and Ph.D.

OSU graduate admissions requirements

Before contacting members of the microbiology department, confirm through the link below that you meet all of Oregon State University's requirements for graduate admissions.

Graduate Admissions Requirements

Microbiology requirements

If you meet Oregon State University requirements, the next step is to REACH OUT to a SPECIFIC research-active faculty member in our department whose research coincides with your interests. Those faculty members can provide you with more information on their programs and on possible positions in their laboratories for graduate students.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required; recent successful applicants had an average GPA of 3.5.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The GRE will not be used in our departmental admissions evaluation. However, because some scholarships and fellowships still use the GRE in their evaluation process, submitting your GRE scores is optional.

Research experience

Prior research experience is an important criterion: most successful graduate students come to our program with previous research experience. This is obtained through various opportunities, such as through Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs, work-study or volunteering in university research laboratories, a prior master's degree or work in private industry laboratories.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

International applicants must achieve a TOEFL score of at least 600 (paper test) or 250 (computer test) or 100 (internet test). For information about the TOEFL exam, go to ETS TOEFL site. Proficiency in spoken English is important because of the requirement to serve as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) for one term of a master's or Ph.D. program and to ensure ability to discuss detailed concepts when planning and interpreting your research.

Graduate Teaching and Research Assistantships

Students enter the program on assistantships, either teaching (GTA) or research (GRA), or are self-funded (usually as a non-thesis Master’s or accelerated Master’s student). Most successful applicants will have identified and contacted a suitable major professor and discussed appointment options.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs)

We offer GTA positions each year on a competitive basis. The GTA appointment involves teaching in laboratory classes, helping with lab prep and grading tests.

Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs)

Students may receive GRA support directly from the grant of their major professor or a grant they may have received. Students often enter the program with a GTA and transition to be supported by a GRA after their first year.

Laboratory rotations

We anticipate that very few rotation positions will be available in the next few years (2020 forward). Rotation positions allow admitted students to study in different laboratories over two or three terms before choosing a thesis project and home laboratory. Because of the rarity of these positions, we strongly recommend that you contact Maude David ( to determine whose research aligns with your interests and whether they anticipate admitting new students to their laboratory in the next year.

How to apply

Deadline: January 1 for all applicants. Applicants with be notified for an interview around early to mid February, with the interview being held later in February. Applicants will be notified if they have been accepted around the end of March.

Review the information below before beginning the application process. The Graduate School's application fee is paid online. For further questions about the Microbiology department office at 541-737-4441.

Required materials

These are to be entered as prompted in the online application process:

Letters of Recommendation and Evaluation: Limit of 3 letters. When you list your references, they are automatically sent instructions on how to submit a letter of recommendation, and an evaluation. Be sure that the email addresses are correct.

Documents: To be uploaded after you have completed the first part of the Online Application and have received an acknowledgement email containing instructions.

Transcripts: Unofficial transcript(s) are to be uploaded into the provided space. Do not send hard copy transcripts. Official transcripts will be required if you are admitted to Oregon State University.

Resume/Curriculum Vitae: Include your educational background, course work in progress, work experience, honors, internships, awards and prizes, and papers that you have authored or co-authored, if any.

Application review is done online; please do not mail application materials.